Indiana Sports Betting Still Hitting Records Despite Robust Illinois Market

Posted on November 10, 2020

The sports betting industry wasn’t sure how the Indiana market would hold up whenever Illinois entered the sports betting scene.

Illinois appears to be grabbing some share but the Hoosier State is holding on well, though. Sportsbooks saw another record month for both handle and revenue in October.

Handle hit $230.9 million with $21.1 million in revenue last month, according to the state report released Tuesday. That’s good for 9.1% hold. Mobile handle hit $193 million, or 83.6% of total bets.

We don’t know what Illinois did in October, or even September for that matter. The state reports results more than a full month later, making it the longest wait for gambling data in the US.

Still, considering Illinois sports betting had handle of $140 million in August dominated by one operator without NFL betting, the data for sports betting in Indiana is encouraging.

Indiana sports betting didn’t expect battle so quickly

The Illinois market was never supposed to be such a threat to Indiana this early on.

Illinois was supposed to have in-person registration for at least its first 18 months of operation, but that hasn’t been the case. The coronavirus pandemic shut casinos and led Gov. JB Pritzker to allow remote registration in June and again in August after a nearly month-long suspension.

That meant much of the sports betting traffic from the Chicago area that would cross into Indiana to place bets has had the ability to register for sports betting in Illinois from their homes since this summer.

Given the state’s current coronavirus outlook, renewing the executive order to allow remote registration seems likely this month as well.

Most IN mobile sportsbooks fighting for fourth

There’s one thing that’s clear in Indiana: bettors like the big sportsbook brands.

DraftKings Sportsbook remained safely in the top spot with $90.5 million in mobile handle, good for 46.9% of total mobile handle. FanDuel Sportsbook is a secure second with $63.6 million in handle.

BetMGM grew its lead in third place with $20.1 million in handle.

That leaves the state’s seven other mobile sportsbooks jockeying for fourth place, which isn’t clear-cut right now. BetRivers ($7.8 million) slightly edged PointsBet ($7.1 million) for that honor this month.

BetAmerica, Caesars, theScore Bet and Unibet were all distantly behind the pack with Unibet ($1.8 million) taking the most handle for the month. Don’t rule out the market’s latest entrant, however: William Hill launched at the end of October and could compete for a top-five position.

Lack of OH sports betting continues to benefit IN

The slowed sports betting traffic coming from the Chicago area has led to a new retail sportsbook leader since June: Hollywood Lawrenceburg.

Penn National‘s casino in Lawrenceburg has helped quench the thirst of those who can’t wait for Ohio sports betting to be legalized. Sitting just 30 minutes from downtown Cincinnati, Hollywood Lawrenceburg did $11.5 million in retail handle last month, which was more than double any other casino in the state.

That might stay the case for the foreseeable future, especially if Ohio fails to legalize sports betting this year.

Three sports betting legislation sponsors will not return for new terms. That could throw a wrench into legalizing sports betting in the state if the bill doesn’t pass by the end of the year.

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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